The town of Rindge, N.H., is just 70 miles from Boston, but to telephone and cable companies it might as well be at the end of the earth. Many of the town’s 5,500 residents cannot get broadband Internet access from the providers in the area, Verizon and Pine Tree Cable, even though communities nearby have had the service for years.
That’s from New York Times article about broadband access in rural areas: With a Dish, Broadband Goes Rural
WildBlue Communications comes to the rescue for folks in Rindge with their satellite service. It’s not cheap and it’s not very broad. Their Value Pak costs $49.95 a month and provides download speeds of 512Kbps and upload speeds of 128Kbps. (So much for vlogging and podcasting will also be painful.) There is free installation but you have to purchase a $299 satellite dish. (Pricing is for my area and may vary around the country.)
Roughly 15 million households cannot get broadband from their phone or cable provider because the [telephone and cable] companies have been slow to expand their high-speed networks in areas where there are not enough customers to generate what they regard as an adequate profit.
So much for a robust internet infrastructure in the US of A. And forget any digital inclusion goals; these prices are too high and many will not be able to afford them. You folks can continue with dial-up.
Broadband is essential to distance-learning programs, health clinics that communicate with bigger hospitals and farmers who rely on the latest market and weather data.
Well that’s too bad. Verizon and Pine Tree Cable can’t envision enough profit to provide the necessary services for the public good. But don’t worry, we can trust them to keep the net neutral.